eBay will officially be implementing a ban on "Adults Only" video games as part of a larger policy update prohibiting the listing of sexually explicit content like movies, magazines, anime, and more. Specifically, it would appear that eBay will be entirely phasing out the Adult Only category on its United States website on July 15th with a number of categories contained within going away. Some of these can be relisted under other categories, but eBay is clear that if items are to remain available on eBay, they will need to follow new guidelines.
While the policy update includes caveats for collectibles, art, sex toys, accessories, clothing, jewelry, books, and music, there are apparently none for video games. In a listing of items that are simply not allowed, eBay includes "[s]exually explicit video games with a rating of Adults Only 18+." Broadly speaking, this essentially bans all sexually explicit, pornographic video games while still allowing titles like the modern Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto video games.
Here is the full list of categories that are straight-up no longer allowed on eBay taken from the policy page:
- Sexually explicit Adult Only DVDs & movies
- Sexually explicit Adult Only Magazines
- Sexually explicit Adult Only Video Games
- Sexually explicit Adult Only Domain Names
- Sexually explicit Other Adult Only
- Sexually explicit Adult Only Collectibles on Blu-Ray, DVD and Film, LaserDisc, VHS, Other Adult Movie Formats, VCD, SVCD, VHS Non-US (PAL)
"We want to make adult items available to those who wish to purchase them and can do so legally, while preventing those who do not wish to view or purchase these items from easily accessing them," eBay's policy page explains in answer to why the online marketplace has this policy. Whether it is actually effective in doing this remains to be seen, but eBay seems serious about keeping these listings off the website as it also states that disciplinary actions for not following the new policy include a number of possible actions like "administratively ending or canceling listings, hiding or demoting all listings from search results, lowering seller rating, buying or selling restrictions, and account suspension." Additionally, nothing about these listings or accounts that have action taken against them will be refunded or credited.
As noted above, the new policy officially begins later this summer on July 15th. Until then, the Adult Only category remains available for new listings on the United States website. You can check out all of our previous coverage of eBay right here.
What do you think about eBay banning the sale of sexually explicit video games? Do you regularly use eBay to purchase video games in general? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!